Commonly used in an estate plan or a financial plan, a trust is a legal entity that is central to a three-part agreement in which an individual — the trust’s “grantor” — transfers the legal title to an asset to that trust for the purpose of benefiting one or more beneficiaries. What you may be surprised to learn is that since trusts usually avoid probate, access to assets can be gained faster than assets that are transferred using a will.

Typically in estate and financial planning, trusts are used to:
– control assets and provide financial security for both the grantor and the beneficiaries
– provide for beneficiaries who are minors or require expert assistance managing money
– avoid estate or income taxes or provide expert management of estates
– avoid probate expenses
– maintain privacy
– protect real estate holdings or a business.

Although not quite as popular as wills, trusts are becoming more widely used among Americans, wealthy or not. People are discovering the potential benefits of a trust — how it can help protect their assets, reduce their tax obligations, and define the management of assets according to their wishes in a private, effective way.

Generally speaking, most people use trusts to help maintain control of assets while they’re alive and medically competent, as well as indirectly maintain control of the disposition of assets if they’re medically unable to do so or in the event of death. Talk to your financial advisor about whether a trust can meet your needs. If you have questions you need answered now, please call us at 1-847-382-2600.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified legal advisor.